Georgia policemen ran big game hunting on Wednesday — when they shot and killed a Bengal tiger after it virtually made a homeowner’s dog lunch, authorities said.
The wild ordeal unfolded after at the least two people called 911 to report the big cat lurking near a ramp on I-7 5 North and a home near the Atlanta suburb of Stockbridge about 6 a.m ., Henry County Police Department Capt. Joey Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cops alerted animal control officers after spotting the animal, but there wasn’t any time to wait for those authorities to arrive when it suddenly ran for a puppy in someone’s back yard.
“Unfortunately, it jumped a fencing and ran after a puppy back behind one of the residencies there, ” Smith told. “And the officers had to use some force-out to set the tiger down.”
The tiger was shot and killed. It was not immediately known how the tiger induced it to the area.
The dog’s owner, Brittney Speck, said her pet, Journey, was “going crazy” in her back yard when she was awakened by the flashing suns of emergency vehicles.
Speck got a glimpse of the tiger — a “full-grown zoo tiger, ” she told — in her neighbor’s yard just before it jumped on her dog, she said.
“And the officers I guess only started firing rounds and took it down and then gave me my puppy back, ” Speck told the Journal-Constitution.
Speck’s dog survived unscathed. She said she was lucky her three children were inside her home at the time.
Smith, a 24 -year law enforcement veteran, said it was the first time he can remember encountering such an animal while on the job.
“That I can remember, yes, ” Smith told The Post early Wednesday. “We’ve had some various weird calls over the years, but this one was definitely unusual.”
There were no reported injuries during the incident, authorities said.
“They could not wait any longer and had to act, ” Smith told The Post. “We take every bellow severely and the officers did corroborate the tiger themselves, and that does increase the seriousness of the matter. It was a very serious situation.”
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.
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